The Center for Executive Education at Belmont University hosted New York Times best-selling author Keith Ferrazzi as the keynote speaker during its Fall Leadership Breakfast Thursday morning in the Curb Event Center. Presented in partnership with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and EO Nashville, the event explored the relational and collaborative sciences and their impact on business success as described by Ferrazzi’s two best-selling books, Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back.
The founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a marketing and sales consulting company, Keith Ferrazzi believes that what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships. However, more often than not, relational competencies suffer from an innate “fight or flight” approach. In fact, Ferrazzi and his colleagues discovered that an individual’s relational style is established prior to the age of 3 years old. “We were depressed when we found that out,” Ferrazzi explained, “because we run an institute for human behavior change.”
Thankfully, Ferrazzi added an anthropologist to his team. “She taught me that independent of our psychology and sociology, we are all hard-wired in a common way as tribal humans… the instinct of nature is to bond and connect.”
Armed with hope, Ferrazzi sought ways to help people improve their relational skills amidst a culture that no longer appears to promote or value deeper connections. His approach includes creating a “people plan” to match with goals and systematically managing a focused list of targets, individuals who can move one toward that goal. “Being purposeful doesn’t mean fake; it just means purposeful.”
Expanding relational currency also means doing homework to discover the passions and interest of targets, particularly finding ways to serve clients and customers. As an example, Ferrazzi pointed to his own passion for improving the foster care system as a way individuals might connect easily with him.
“Research backs it up that this approach helps companies grow,” Ferrazzi said. “But I tell y’all that you know in your heart that to find a way to help, to find a way to care, is the way you should live your life [toward others] anyway.”
Ferrazzi Greenlight provides market leaders with strategic consulting and training services to increase company sales and enhance team performance. Ferrazzi and his associates’ research has proven the singular predictive importance of relationships to business success, including sales, team performance and individual career advancement. A frequent contributor to CNN and CNBC, Ferrazzi has authored numerous articles for leading business and consumer publications, including Forbes, Inc., The Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and Reader’s Digest.
About the Center for Executive Education
The Center for Executive Education at Belmont University has been a premier provider of leadership education for more than 25 years, existing to provide world-class learning to meet the needs of the Nashville community and beyond. The Center provides a full range of executive learning opportunities including its Executive Learning Networks, Executive Leadership Experience, certificate programs and customized solutions. ELN membership consists of senior leaders from over 50 Middle Tennessee companies who seek to learn from one another and national leaders through ongoing networking, speakers’ series and small group discussions.
About the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing more than 2,000 member companies. “Business Is Good” embodies the Chamber’s focus on facilitating community leadership to create economic prosperity for Middle Tennessee. The work of the Nashville Area Chamber is supported by membership and sponsors; the Chamber’s Pivotal Partners (a partnership at the highest level for all Chamber programs and events) are BlueCross/BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems and Delek US Holdings. Together with its affiliates, the Nashville Chamber works to strengthen the region’s business climate and enhance Nashville’s position as a desirable place to live, work and visit. For more information, visit www.nashvillechamber.com.
About EO Nashville
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization is a global business network of more than 8,500 business owners in 121 chapters and more than 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables small and large business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. The organization’s vision is to build the world’s most influential community of entrepreneurs, which aligns with its mission of supporting entrepreneurial education and engaging entrepreneurs to learn and grow. For more information about EO Nashville, contact Sameera Lowe, executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (615) 309-1775.